In disagreement to a recent judgement, the management of MTN Nigeria says it will approach a superior court for justice to be served in the case between the company and a former employee, Mr. Paul Odunewu.
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Akure, in a judgement last week presided by Justice Oyejoju Oyewunmi, had ordered MTN Nigeria Communications Limited and MTN International, Mauritius to pay Odunewu , who was the former Network Group Operations Manager, with MTN Nigeria the sum of N4,825,036,735.9 as compensation for wrongfully terminating his employment.
The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, MTN Nigeria, Omasan Ogisi, said following the review by the company’s legal partners, MTN Nigeria has approached a higher court requesting that the judgement of the industrial court be set aside.
She said that the telco observed that there were critical elements of the case, which were not fully considered by the lower court before taking its position.
According to Ogisi, “We can confirm that the National Industrial Court took a position, which we consider detrimental to our interests in a suit filed by a former employee.
“The court’s position has been reviewed by our internal and external counsels,” Ogisi said.
She added that the company was confident that the outcome at the superior court would be different and that justice would not only be done, but would be seen to be done in the case.
Ogisi strongly maintained that MTN treated all its employees fairly, as captured in the details of its employment contracts, and that the situation is no different as the most basic commitment MTN made to customers, shareholders, and workers is to conduct itself in an ethical, honest and respectful manner.
Paul Odunewu’s is suing MTN challenging his 2006 termination and the deprivation of his entitlements including share options valued at $13,144,512.00. MTN Group Limited, South Africa; MTN Nigeria and MTN International, Mauritius were first, second and third defendants in the suit which lasted 10 years from the Lagos State High Court to the NICN. The judge then ordered ordered that the sums be paid by the second and third defendants, “except the issue of costs which is to be paid by all the defendants.
Odunewu said he worked at MTN for over four years, and was responsible for the network’s outstanding achievements, which continues till date. The former manager said he was in charge of MTN’s pre-paid and post-paid revenue, subscription, voucher management and real-time charging.
Odunewu commenced the suit against MTN (the defendants) in 2007 before the High Court of Lagos State, but in 2012, it was transferred to and began afresh at National Industrial Court of Nigeria which had exclusive jurisdiction.